In the course of a column on a recent Medicare bill, Michael Gerson observes that in the not-too-distant-past there were liberal Republicans (in the northeast) and conservative Democrats (in the past). Back then, lawmakers could form coalitions with kindred spirits across the aisle to pass legislation. But now both parties have undergone “ideological sorting,” so that Democrats are virtually all liberal and Republicans are virtually all conservative. Thus, votes are along party lines, and the only hope of advancing an agenda is to win a big enough majority to steamroll the other party. This is why, he says, our politics is so polarizing and it is so difficult to get legislation passed.
Read what Mr. Gerson says after the jump and consider the questions I raise. [Read more…]